Design and lifestyle expert Kristan Cunningham is best known as host and lead designer of HGTV’s fan favorite show, Design on a Dime. Encouraging clients and viewers alike to ‘live a little lovelier,’ her budget savvy makeovers and expert advice on doing more with less, have made her a hit with fans worldwide for almost a decade. Here, Cunningham — who is the key AOL Shelterpop.com home decor expert — offers tips to emulate the on-screen style of AMC's Mad Men in your very own home.
A show that allows the environment to share equal billing with its characters, Mad Men has generated a level of accolades that's typically reserved for stars. For those of us who are design obsessed, the period-perfect, gorgeous interiors are borderline distracting!
The cure? We can all have a little mid-century marvelous in our own lives, by taking our cues from the Sterling Cooper offices. Here are my top tips to channel the screen style in your home.
– The most impactful aspect of the overall office space is the wood walls. Those stained walnut panels create a total boys club vibe — you can practically smell the smoke and scotch — but would be crazy expensive to recreate….in wood. But give this walnut wallpaper a try, to get the look for a fraction of the price. At $65 a roll, you could easily envelop a good sized room in wood-grained fabulousness for under a couple hundred bucks! (The best part: this stuff is re-postionable and doesn't leave any residue, so it's perfect for all you renters too!)
– Getting the small details just right is imperative in driving home any date specific style. Here, the double cone perforated sconces (like the ones in the hall) scream "period correct." Rejuvenation sells a dead ringer for $129.
– That abstract painting over the sofa is vintage perfection! Those hits of strong yellow practically leap off of the paneled walls, and AllPosters.com's "Before Sunrise II" is a great stand-in for the one on set. They have a great selection of abstracts — and give you the option of framing as well. You can snatch this guy up for $169.99, including my frame choice, 1.5" Allegro Bronze. You don't even have to dig through the smelly back rooms at thrift stores to find it!
– Yes, yes… people need to sit in the office, but if you wanna roll Mad Men-style, you also need a place to pass out by 11 a.m. right after your third cocktail. This sofa from Urban Outfitters is all kinds of mid-century perfection: tufted back, bolster pillows, tapered cone wood legs and terrific tweed upholstery, all for under 400 clams. Oh, and it converts into a bed, natch.
– Creative geniuses need comfy, important looking chairs, in which to be geniuses. Plummer's Atlas Chair, looks a lot like our favorite genius Don's — thanks to a chrome splayed leg swivel base and a hefty black vinyl seat. If you invest the $295 into this chair, maybe it'll give you Clio award winning ideas too!
– Blueprint's Barrymore Desk is a terrifically mid-century styled piece, and totally in keeping with Mr. Draper's office anchor: no frills, and suspended storage. Clean. Sexy. Powerful.
– Is it just me, or does the eye go directly to those cute little candy-like round pillows on the sofa? These guys provide the "punctuation point" on the room and are a minimal investment that pack a punch. Wal-Mart got it just right with the Rust Tuft Pillow, at the beautiful price of $11. Urban Outfitters also does a great velvet version for $24.
– Pressing the "End" key on your iPhone really hard just doesn't have the same impact as slammin' down the handle of an old rotary model. So pick up this reproduction desk phone at Amazon for $39.99 and stop denying yourself the pleasure of a self righteous hang up!
– Liquor. It's the glue that ties this look together! House it in something pretty, like this 7-piece whiskey glassware set for $25. Livin' like an ad exec… priceless.
Mad Men airs Sundays at 10 p.m./ET on AMC.